8 Ways That The Grass Is Greener On My Side Of Autism Avenue Right Now….
February 18, 2012
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Now Reading: 8 Ways That The Grass Is Greener On My Side Of Autism Avenue Right Now….
February 18, 2012
When I started my Autism Daddy Facebook Page & blog it was a place to rant and vent and complain about my son’s autism. I’ve said a MILLION times on here that I LOVE my son but I’m not a huge fan of his autism.
And for years I had a huge case of “the grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome (I wrote about that HERE). I would always in my mind be comparing my life and my kids struggles to my friends with typical kids and would get depressed and have a huge case of “why me?”
And when I hung out with our other autism parent friends I would look at their asd kids and would in my mind be comparing them to my son and seeing how far behind Kyle was. Some of their kids were severe but Kyle was severely severe and I would get depressed and have a huge case of “what are we doing wrong”
But I have to admit that since having this page & blog and reading about alot of your struggles I realize how lucky we are right now. This is a product of reading some of your horror stories about your asd kids while my son is going thru a GREAT stretch behaviorally right now.
I never intended for me to get soft on you all :-), but I realize now how good the wife and I have it right now. And I don’t mean to compare some of your misfortune and pit it against what we’ve got going on…but hey it’s human nature. And now that I’ve got 4700+ followers I hear alot of stories and read about alot of your kids and more and more lately I’m coming out of it thinking “wow, maybe the grass is greener on my side!”
Don’t get me wrong. I know Kyle will go thru a bad stretch again soon and I’ll have plenty to rant and complain about. And I know that if I look LONG TERM things get alot more murky. Kyle will need constant care and will be dependent on others for the rest of his life (even after the wife and I are long gone) and that’s something that if I think about alot it will keep me up at night…
But for right now, at this period we got it pretty good compared to alot of the other asd parents who read this page…
So here’s 8 ways that IN MY MIND maybe the grass is greener on our side right now…
1) My commute to work is only about 40 minutes…I get to drive to work and work in the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD, NYC and my job / bosses are very flexible about my “home situation” and are ok with me having to “work from home” when necessary so I can go to a mtg at Kyles school or give the wife a break.
2) My kid is affectionate… Right now he’s overly affectionate with me and doesn’t give the wife much to work with, but it’s in there. He can be very huggy/ kissy…
3) My kid is potty trained right now… He lost it twice before and he’s been having alot of accidents lately, but he is somewhat trained and is malleable and amenable to being potty trained…(I write about our potty training method HERE) And even when he was in pull ups he is not and never has been a “play with his poop” kid. We talk about fecal smearing alot on my FB page cuz you guys talk about it…but my guy has never done this…so far….
4) My kid sleeps pretty well…. Lately he’s in a stretch where he’s been sleeping from about 8:30pm – 6:00am which means the wife and I can have some alone time which most nights means eating dinner on the couch in front of the tv until she passes out…and when he does go thru a stretch where he wakes up in the middle of the night the worst it is is like twice a week, and he’s happy while he’s awake…
5) My kid is not a runner…. I mean we still hold his hand tightly when we are out in public and we bring his autism service dog with us to alot of places, but lately Kyle is not likely to bolt off or run away
6) Kyle’s been very good behaviorally lately… A little less manic add/ADHD… At home he can tolerate the tv being off and playing in his room or in a little “nook” in the dining room or kitchen for 10-15 minutes at a time. He is not an overly destructive kid right now. And out of the house he’s been ALOT better going shopping, running errands. This is one thing we know can change on a dime, especially after last summer’s “Summer Of Rage” so we are thrilled right now….
7)We have some respite… Because Kyle sleeps well and is affectionate and is pretty good behaviorally he is somewhat easy to baby sit for. And if you’ve been reading this page long enough you’ll know that the wife and I take breaks and get sitters often. Going out and recharging our batteries is VITALLY important to the both of us. (I wrote about that HERE) And we are extremely lucky & fortunate that we have the people in our lives who are willing to watch Kyle and that Kyle is “watchable”. I’m really afraid of that not being the case when he’s older…. but for now we will use it to our advantage…
8) The wife and I have each other. And we are both “all in” and committed to each other, and to our marriage, and to raising our only child.
Those are the 8 that came to me off the top of my head. There are definitely more…
Don’t get me wrong we still have major issues and Kyle is still severely autistic. His receptive and expressive language are at an 18 month level and have been for YEARS….but he’s very happy right now which makes mom & dads lives alot brighter. I always say since Kyle is our only child the wife and I live & die by his moods and his behaviors. When he’s going thru a good stretch we all are and when he’s a terror we all at each other throats…
But for right now, even though he’s non-verbal, even though he hasn’t made any significant progress in a LONG time, even though he still holds his breath ALL THE TIME, even though he has to be fed like a baby cuz he barely eats and is still at risk of losing weight, he is happy so we are happy and in a good place right now…
So right now the grass on our lawn on Autism Avenue is green and thick and luscious. Let’s hope it stays that way for a LONG time.
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Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).